Japan reports spike in novel H1N1 casesHealth officials voiced concern over a surge in novel H1N1 influenza cases in Japan, particularly among young people, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today. Case numbers rose from 4 to 129 over the weekend, leading to more than 2,000 school closures. Many of the new cases are reported from Kobe and Osaka, where officials believe the virus spread during a high school volleyball tournament.
(CIDRAP News) As the World Health Organization (WHO) convened its annual meeting today, several countries urged the agency to use caution in weighing whether to declare a full-scale pandemic, despite signs that the novel H1N1 influenza virus is now spreading in Japan.
(CIDRAP News) Scientists report that H5N1 avian influenza viruses may be adapting to pigs, as evidenced by the finding that H5N1 viruses isolated from pigs in Indonesia were less harmful to mice than were H5N1 viruses from chickens.
(CIDRAP News) Because of a suboptimal match between this year's flu vaccine and circulating influenza B viruses, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended changing one of the three strains used in flu vaccines for the Northern Hemisphere next fall and winter.
(CIDRAP News) – At an Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) symposium in Washington, DC, today on seasonal and pandemic influenza, a group of experts fielded questions from reporters on some of the new trends and emerging issues, including prepandemic strategies for H5N1 avian influenza vaccines, now that some countries are stockpiling them.
(CIDRAP News) The United States will contribute another $44.4 million to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO's) campaign to prevent and control avian influenza, the FAO announced today.
(CIDRAP News) A group of international donors who met yesterday in the final session of an avian influenza conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, pledged more support for avian and pandemic flu preparedness and prevention, led by $320 million from the United States.
(CIDRAP News) Two pharmaceutical companies that are developing a second-generation version of the inhaled antiviral drug zanamivir (Relenza) reported promising phase 2 results showing that one dose was as effective against influenza as a course of oseltamivir (Tamiflu).